BENTON – Guards Haley Morrissey and Blaire Lutes poured in 13 of Benton/Shullsburg’s 18 points in the fourth quarter to left the Zephyr-Miners over visiting Argyle, 64-61, in a down-to-the-wire, high-scoring non-conference girls’ basketball game at BHS on Thursday, Dec. 1.
Morrissey tallied seven of her career-high 18 points in the final frame- including the go-ahead basket with three minutes to play that was the 20th and final lead change of the game, while Lutes tacked on six of her game-high 22 points in that same period to rally the Zephyr-Miners (2-0 overall) over the Orioles (1-1).
“Our players battled. Most of them have not been in close games at this level before so it was very good for them to experience this and come out on top,” said Benton/Shullsburg head coach Nathan Russell. “Argyle is a much improved team and I feel very lucky to get the win.”
Things started a little slow on offense for both teams with the Zephyr-Miners eking out a 4-2 lead four minutes into the game, but the teams picked up the pace the rest of the way combining for 119 points over the final 28 minutes of play.
The Orioles took a slim 36-35 lead into the intermission after outscoring the hosts 21-20 in the second quarter, but the co-op used an 11-10 advantage in the third quarter to forge a 46 all tie heading into the final frame.
After swapping the lead five times in the first quarter, six times in the second and four times in the third, the teams continued to go at one another in the fourth quarter as they traded the lead five more times for a total of 20 lead changes on the night.
Argyle’s Kayla Ostby put the guests ahead 57-56 with 3:30 remaining, but back-to-back baskets by Morrissey and Lutes put the Zephyr-Miners up for good at 60-57.
Argyle pulled back within a point with under a minute to play, however Coach Russell’s crew connected on 4-of-6 attempts at the free throw line over the final 36 seconds of play and freshman Jenna Droessler rebounded a missed game-tying 3-point attempt with seven ticks to go to seal the victory.
Lutes added five assists, four rebounds and three steals to go along with her 22 points, while Morrissey had three steals and two assists along with her 18 points.
Molly Blackbourn added eight points, five rebounds and two blocked shots, and Sarah Redfearn tallied eight boards, seven blocks, four assists and three steals for the hosts.
Ostby finished with 20 points to lead the Orioles, while Danielle Treuthardt and Jessica Treuthardt added 11 points apiece for the guests.
The Zephyr-Miner open Six Rivers West play at River Ridge on Thursday, Dec. 8. On Saturday, Dec. 10, they host Monticello in non-conference action at Shullsburg High School, starting at 2:30 p.m.
Argyle............ 15 21 10 15 - 61
Bent/Shulls… 15 20 11 18 - 64
Leading Scorers: Blaire Lutes 22, Haley Morrissey 18, Molly Blackbourn 8, Emma Neis 4, Jenna Droessler 4, Sarah Redfearn 3, Stephanie Roberts 3, Alyssa Lesser 2.